A few years back, my husband and I were in Mexico on a long drive along the sun-drenched Pacific ocean with a local buddy of ours that lived there. The car weaved its way along the winding highway that was hugged by high, craggy desert rock on one side and endless sandy beach and blue sea on the other. We were bantering and laughing back and forth the whole time and suddenly he paused the conversation, pointing up ahead and saying "Hey, quick, look over here." We asked him what we were supposed to be seeing and he said "There is a large house that sank into the sand a couple years back and all that is visible now is the very top of the roof, see it?"
We did. It was an incredible sight. An entire home buried and gone with only it's lid peering out, seeming to wave desperately at the passers-by alerting them to its perilous story. "What happened?" we asked. "Well, the owners of the home did not listen to the local people who knew the land. They told them to not build on that site, but to go higher, up on the rock, but their builder was a prideful man. He insisted it would be fine. So, they trusted him and went ahead and built their dream home, putting all of their savings into it, and now, this is the outcome, a sunken house and crushed dreams. They walked away with nothing."
Whoa. We were a bit in shock and suddenly felt very sad for this couple we will never know. But their story is an ominous warning for us all: Listen to wisdom. Reject pride. Seek truth. Build your life on trustworthy things. Good advice to carry around in our mind's pocket.
After hearing this story, I was reminded of a similar parable told by Jesus in the seventh chapter in the book of Matthew, revealing the blueprints for a well-built life:
“Whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it did not fall, for it was founded a rock. And every one who hears these sayings of Mine and does not do them will be likened to a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house. And it fell. And its fall was great.” (vv. 24-27)
This is urgent stuff friends. We must as followers of God place our trust in the only One deserving; the Architect of it all. He has drawn up the plans that we can trust with full assurance and rely on with everything we are and everything we have. All in. Our dreams and hopes will be accomplished and not dashed or sank in shifting sand. He has it all figured out. Now, we must attend to our part; trust, listen and do what He says to have lives that withstand instead of collapse.
Speaking of, this whole world feels as if it has been poured into a giant cocktail shaker, being violently rocked, haphazard, shaken off its axle. It seems we have fallen too far, under a weight that feels unmanageable, ready to topple and sink us at any moment. Panic rules. Fear overtakes, drowning us. We understandably feel immersed with stones around the neck and unable to get back to the surface. It is a scary place to be.
When everything seems topsy-turvy and confusing, like the rabbit hole of Wonderland, where up is down and small is large, is when we must reach down into truth's garden and pull up much-needed roots of peace:
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)
God has made these plans ahead of time. Constant and sure. Planning is His nature. He is never-changing, never failing, always true.
His declarations are the ultimate guidepost. If only we will believe Him. If only we will stop each day to read His word, and then, go to the next step and do what it says, then we are assured peace and hope even in the tempestuous uncertainty of the here and now and given a solid place to rest our frightened minds and hearts. Such needed and sought out relief!
Knowing this, and understanding the depth of His love and care, I am deciding to build my life on the Rock, taking heed the vital lesson of the sunken house. I will trust in God's truth and I will walk with my head and heart high, into the wind, knowing that He that has designed my good future; strong in Him, girded in truth. His promises never sinking.
You with me? I hope so. Hedging our bets on anything else is way too risky and uncertain. I, for one, am not willing to bet my life on anything else.
Question: What have you built your life on? Is it solid rock or sinking sand? Are you able to withstand this world's turmoil by walking strong in truth?